FOUR millennia elapsed from the creation of the world until the first coming of Jesus Christ and since His coming another two have almost winged their way. The birth of Christ is the pivotal event in measuring the course of history from His advent we reckon the years backward and forward. In all the extravagant publicity about the new millennium there is indeed the occasional reference to the coming of Christ 2000 years ago, but it has to be said that the vast majority of people do not really think about that wonderful event, or even want to remember it.
In any case, the advent of the Saviour is not to be commemorated by the revelries with which it is proposed to mark the arrival of the new Millennium, just as surely as He is not to be honoured by observing the pagan and popish festival of Christmas. Because Christ came into the world to seek and save the lost, people are to honour Him by, above everything else, cordially believing in Him as Saviour, and humbly and lovingly submitting to Him as Lord.
When a new era is about to begin, should our thoughts not go forward to that event in which all history will culminate? “Then cometh the end,” wrote the Apostle Paul to the Christians in Corinth. He was referring, of course, to the end of the world which will occur at the second coming of Christ: that event which Peter described as “the end of all things” (1 Peter 4:7). As surely as He came to “dwell with men on the earth” two millennia ago, so surely he will come again when “time shall be no longer”. Then every eye “shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with great glory”. Then He “shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe”. The end of all things brings unspeakable joy to them for they shall have the answer to their prayer, “Even so come, Lord Jesus.”
Very evidently, it is not thoughts of “the end of all things” that is on the minds of most people, but rather the festivities and sinful pleasures in celebration of the new epoch. According to the predictions of some commentators, the consumption of alcohol during the millennium festivities will reach an all-time high, and there will be much drunkenness and uncleanness. We fear that their predictions will be proved correct. Indicative of this hedonistic behaviour is the shocking proposal of the Government-funded Brook Advisory Centres to hand out the “morning-after pill” in advance to young girls. One of the Brook Advisory doctors responsible for distributing this abortifacient, which kills the fertilised ovum, said: “We just want to make sure everyone is ready for the Millennium party, party, party!”
Sad indeed, and dangerous, is the case of those who recklessly go on to eternity in a whirl of worldly pursuits and sinful activities. It is tragic in the extreme that multitudes of people, old and young, in this pleasure-loving age, are pressing on, lemming-like, to destruction, ignorant or heedless of having to account to God for their past, or prepare to meet Him when the end comes.
There is no preparation for “the end of all things” where there is no preparation for death. It was Moses, as he considered the heedlessness of the Israelites, who said, “O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end!” (Deu. 32:29). His prayer for himself and them was this: “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psl. 90:12) Happy is the man who heeds the call of Christ, regarding His coming to judge the world: “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh” (Matt. 24:44).
Preparation for the end of all things must necessarily include a review of our past and repentance for our sins. As we consider with interest the reviews by the media of the events of the millennium which is now drawing to an end, it would be our wisdom to consider the ultimate review. “Then cometh the end”, and with it the moment when “every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12). “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10). Wise indeed are those who remember their sins and repent of them, and who rest only on Christ for salvation. It is only such who are prepared for that last searching review and solemn reckoning.
Because “the end of all things” is approaching, it is imperative for us to be holy. “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness” (2 Pet. 3:10, 11).
“The end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer” (1 Peter 4:7).